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Address by Monsignor Pirmin Spiegel (Director General of MISEREOR, the German Catholic Bishops' Organisation for Development Co-operation,

in Aachen, Germany) at the National Co-ordinating Committee Meeting of the Philippine-Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) Roxas City, Philippines, 29 January 2014
Your Excellencies, members of the National Co-ordinating Committee of the PMPI, and staff members of the PMPI secretariat. 1. Words of welcome

The first weeks of November 2013 highlighted once again how important it is to show compassionate solidarity with people in need. It was moving to witness the dedication and commitment of the PMPI to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. It was this dedication and focus on the poor that made me want to find out more about the PMPI partner network and to meet the people who work in it. It is very important to me to express to you in person our solidarity not only with the victims, but also with the tireless helpers who came to their aid. This is why I am so delighted to be able to take part in this meeting and to have the chance to get to know the PMPI and to find out more about the emergency aid and reconstruction aid that is already underway in the coming days. I am particularly looking forward to meeting the people who are the pillars of this partner network and those with whom this partner network shows solidarity. This is my first time in the Philippines. Before I joined MISEREOR, I spent most of my time working in Latin America. This is why I feel more comfortable speaking Spanish and Portuguese than I do speaking English. I hope that you will forgive me if I have to rely on translation from time to time or if I have to ask you to speak a little more slowly. I am also delighted that this trip will give me the opportunity to find out more about the Philippines and the work of MISEREOR's partner organisations here. Yesterday in Manila was a truly memorable day: we met people in the city's slums who are showing great courage and creativity in their attempts to improve their lives. Naturally, I am very much looking forward to meeting people in the regions that were affected by Yolanda both here in Capiz and on Samar and Leyte in the coming days. I am also looking forward to hearing more about how smallholder farmers in Butuan on Mindanao are using sustainable methods of agriculture to independently grow their own food and make a living that supports their families. Many of these familieswhether they live in urban slums or in the countryface very particular challenges because their environment is changing so quickly. Some of these changes can be traced back to the effects of climate change. We at MISEREOR are hearing the same thing from many partner organisations around the world. This is why it is both very important and very encouraging to see that the PMPI is focusing intensively on this particular problem and has identified it as one of its three main themes. I very much look forward to the discussions on this subject today and tomorrow.



MISEREOR's dedication to limiting the consequences of climate change

At MISEREOR, we focus intensively on the impact that climate change can have on the world's poorest people and how these people can deal with these consequences. However, it is just as important to ask what can be done to mitigate the consequences of climate change. This has a lot to do with how humankind will have to live in the future to ensure that we use resources more sparingly than we have done in the past. This is a key issue for us at MISEREOR. As a contribution to the discussion at this National Coordinating Committee Meeting, I was asked to outline what MISEREOR is doing to ensure that society and, more specifically, politicians in Germany and the so-called West take the drastic effects of climate change seriously. I am delighted to do so and hope that I will not try your patience too much with my presentation. Wherever our staff members go in the world, people tell them the same thing: the weather has gone mad. First of all, there are the gradual changes, such as the changes in the seasons. Then there are the weather-related natural disasters, which are becoming more and more serious and are occurring in places that have never been hit by such catastrophes before. Here in the Philippines, you are all too familiar with this problem. These changes affect people who live in poverty, those who live on slopes that are at risk of landslides, or those who live above rivers and are not even included in the many disaster prevention and aid programmes because they don't officially exist. As you know, for these and other reasons, MISEREOR attaches great importance to sustainable agriculture, which is more resilient to changes in the climate. Moreover, MISEREOR wants to strengthen people's land rights and civil rights. There are several reasons for this. One reason is that it is important to ensure that everybodynot just a few privileged, wealthy peopleis warned and evacuated in the event of a disaster. Just like many other catastrophes in recent years, Yolanda made it clear that all of these efforts will reach their limits if a) the situation regarding poverty does not change at all and b) climate change continues. Fighting poverty and protecting the climate are two sides of the same coin! This is why MISEREOR is fighting for climate protection. We feel very strongly that the countries of the industrialised world must lead the way. Although Germany generates only 3 per cent of global emissions, every German citizen emits an average 11 tons of greenhouse gas per annum. To be sustainable, everyone in the world should limit their emissions to 2 tons. Germany has set itself the goal of having 'zero' greenhouse gases in the energy and industrial sector by the year 2050. This means reducing the emission of greenhouse gas by 90% on 1990 levels by the year 2050. The German government caused a stir at international level when it announced that it would phase out nuclear energy in Germany and set itself these climate protection targets. If these goals are reached, the atmosphere might not notice much of a difference. After all, Germany's 3 per cent of total emissions is just about the same as the annual increase in emissions in India and China. However, the political impact of such a success would be huge because it would encourage other countries to follow this example. This is why MISEREOR is working to ensure that Germany does not miss these targets, but really does reach them. At the moment, however, the people of Germany seem to be more worried about rising energy prices than about climate protection and global justice. There is resistance to Germany's energy transition policy. This is why MISEREOR will work tirelessly with other organisations to remind the German government of its promise and will campaign for climate protection in public. This dedication to global environmental protection is nothing new for MISEREOR. Since 2007, we have been working specifically and with increasing dedication for a fair climate policy. We use our annual Lenten Campaign to highlight this issue. In addition, we also work in schools, parishes, and in the public sphere to raise awareness of a lifestyle that generates less gases that are harmful to the environment (for example eating less meat and using the car less frequently).


We are also politically active. Let me just mention two highlights in this respect: o We are co-founders of the Climate Alliance Germany. With over 100 members, this alliance lobbies for Germany's energy transition and against coal-mining and the construction of new coal-fired power stations. The Climate Alliance Germany and local citizens' action groups have succeeded in stopping the construction of 15 planned new power stations. Within our umbrella organisation, CIDSE, we work with other Catholic development agencies in Europe and North America to put pressure on governments that are blocking agreement at international climate negotiations. We also channel expert knowledge we have gained through development co-operation into the discourse on climate protection. For example, last December, we travelled to the negotiations in Warsaw, Poland, with Bishop Teotonius Gomes from Bangladesh to persuade the Church in Poland to work for climate protection in that country. We did this because the Polish government is blocking the climate protection efforts of the European region and because the Catholic Church in Poland could influence public opinion there.

In recent decades, the countries of the industrialised world have pumped the atmosphere full of greenhouse gases. There doesn't seem to be any space left for further growth built on fossil fuels in newly industrialised countries and developing countries. This is why rapidly growing economies also have to transform their existing infrastructures and use cleaner technologies in the process. Developing countries could use this opportunity to go straight to cleaner methods of power generation. For example, many countries could move directly to generating power from the wind and the sun without deciding to build coal-fired or nuclear power stations. There are many questions, challenges, and interests to address in this field. MISEREOR is helping to develop access to renewable energy sources in many partner countries. To do so, it also uses climate funding from the German government. MISEREOR also promotes dialogue between our partners in newly industrialised countries on the question of how the global transformation of the energy system can succeed. One example of this is a recent event involving partners from India, Brazil, and South Africa which lasted several days. In these countries too, it is important that NGOs and Churches lobby to ensure that climate protection is taken seriously and that governments set themselves climate protection targets. We have also entered into an intensive and fruitful dialogue with the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC). 3. Common but different responsibilities

We are convinced that it is the responsibility of the industrialised world to support these efforts with money and expertise. This principle is even anchored in the Framework Convention on Climate Change. However, it is difficult to constantly provide reminders about our common but different responsibilities. One thing is true for all countries: at international level, at community level, in our families, and as individuals, we have to ask ourselves two important questions. Firstly, how do we produce goods? And secondly, how much do we actually need to lead a fulfilled life without robbing other people of the chance to do the same? It is all about consumption. For example, does everyone in the family really need his or her own television? This kind of question is increasingly being asked not only in industrialised countries, but also in countries where MISEREOR supports projects and programmes. This is why we want to reinforce the dialogue in both the North and the South on the question 'How do we want to live, how will we live?' We would welcome a similar dialogue with the members of the PMPI and look forward to learning from you and your target groups!



Thank you!

It is a huge help to us to know that the most varied partners within the PMPI Church partners, NGOs, and people's organisationsare involved in lively discussions with each other on topics that are very important to us too. The dynamism that has developed in the PMPI over the years and is reflected in a growing number of activities and advocacies, is more than we dared to hope for when we all set up this network. For this reason, the PMPI is a model within MISEREOR for a partnership that stands up for the rights of the poor and the disadvantaged. On behalf of MISEREOR, please allow me to express our sincere gratitude to you on this point. As a small token of our esteem for the excellent co-operation between the Church organisations, NGOs, and grassroots organisations within the PMPI, we would like to present you with a little gift ... Thank you very much for your attention and your patience.